US GGR drops 45.6% in H1 amid coronavirus pandemic

The US gambling space has been hit incredibly hard by the coronavirus pandemic in H1.

According to the latest figures from the American Gaming Association (AGA), US commercial gross gaming revenue (GGR) for the first half of 2020 dropped 45.6% year-on-year to $11.70bn.

For the first half of the year, land-based slot bought in $7.36bn in revenue making it the largest driver for revenue however, this was down 78% from 2019. Table games took the biggest hit in H1 with revenue dropping 78.5% year-on-year to $2.13bn.

While the land-based casino industry took a significant hit during the coronavirus pandemic, igaming revenue soared. According to the AGA report, online gambling revenue jumped 189.7% year-on-year to $634.7m.

Even with the suspension of sporting events across the globe, sports betting revenue grew by 10.4% to $324.9m.

Q2 figures

During the second quarter of the year, the point at which the coronavirus pandemic resulted in the closure of almost the entire land-based gambling industry in the US and the postponement of almost every sporting event across the globe, GGR dropped 78.8% to $2.30bn.

In Q2 slot revenue dropped 81.9% to $1.30bn, table game GGR fell 86% to $286.9m and sports betting revenue dropped 46.3% to $64.2m thanks to a lack of major sporting events.

However, during this period, online gambling revenue soared growing by 250% up to $402.7m, almost doubling the record set in the first quarter of the year.

As nearly every commercial casino and gambling venue in the US was forced to close during the pandemic, it should come as no surprise that online gambling revenue grew as bettors were forced to gamble online.

State by state Q2 comparison

On a state by state basis, during Q2 Nevada continued to lead the industry after generating $576.3m in GGR. Almost all of this revenue was generated in June after casinos were allowed to reopen to the public on 4 June. However, this represented an 80.5% drop in revenue.

New Jersey came in second place after generating $276m in revenue, however, this was down 66.6%. Pennsylvania followed close behind the Garden State with $240.2m in revenue, which was down 71.5%.

Mississippi reopened its casinos in May and generated a total of $238.6m down 56.6%. South Dakota saw revenue fall by 32.1% to $19.1m.

The decline in revenue can be attributed to fewer days where casinos were open. According to the report, the number of open casino days, which is the combined number of days of operation for casinos in the time frame, fell by 75.1% to 10,505 in Q2.

As a result of this, casinos made an average of $173,770 per open day in Q2, down 30.6% from 2019. In terms of revenue per open day, Pennsylvania led the way with $661,986, ahead of the $585,297 generated a day in Ohio.

AGA President and CEO Bill Miller: “COVID-19 has undoubtedly posed the most difficult economic challenge the gaming industry has ever faced. Yet, gaming’s record popularity prior to COVID-19, as well our resilience in the midst of such adversity, is evidence of the industry’s foundation for continued success as we emerge from the pandemic.

“With business returning to casino floors and sportsbooks seeing increased action, the gaming industry is steadily charting a responsible path to recovery that prioritizes health and safety, supports the communities where we operate, and offers first-class entertainment.”

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